Bliss Happenings November 9, 2017

Bliss Briefs: (El Paso, Texas, Nov. 9, 2017)

Veterans Day Gala: The El Paso Veterans Association invites everyone to the Fort Bliss Veterans Day Gala at 6 p.m. today at the Centennial Banquet and Conference Center. The gala honors veterans from all wars. Join them to show veterans that their sacrifices will never be forgotten. 566-2880 or 478-4467

Legal offices closure: The Fort Bliss Legal Assistance and Claims Offices, on the first floor of Bldg. 113 on Pershing Road, will close at 2 p.m. today for an office function, and will be closed on Friday for the recognized federal holiday, and on Monday during the day of no scheduled activities. In addition, the offices will be closed on Nov. 23, during Thanksgiving, and on Nov. 24, during the DONSA.

DHR training holidays: The Directorate of Human Resources will have a Veterans Day training holiday and will have reduced operations today; will be closed Friday; and will open for normal operations Monday. The directorate will also have reduced operations for Thanksgiving Nov. 23 and will be closed Nov. 24. Normal operations will resume Nov. 27. The points of contact are: Military Personnel Division at 568-3302; ASAP at 744-5192, 744-5148 or 744-5149; the Administrative Services Division at 569-5817; the Education Center at 568-6682 or 568-6831; the SFL-TAP at 568-7165, 568-7396, 568-4210, 568-7996 or 568-3870. For emergencies during closure call 568-3093.

Food drive: To contribute to the holiday food drive, donate cans or other nonperishable goods at all chapels on Fort Bliss on Sunday. 568-1519

Reassignment and passport office: The reassignment and passport office is closed, except for emergency purposes only, until Monday. All emergencies will be handled on a case-by-case basis. 568-5600 or (808) 285-4938

Education fair: Fort Bliss will hold an education fair at Freedom Crossing (near the fireplaces on the patio) from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. More than 20 schools will be in attendance. 568-6713

ASYMCA Food Drive: Donate nonperishable goods for the Armed Services YMCA Thanksgiving Food Drive at the Junior Enlisted Family Center, 1717 Marshall Road, from noon-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Nov. 16. The organization greatly appreciates canned green beans, yams, sweet peas, gravy, corn, fruit, cranberry sauce, and boxed mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese and stuffing. 562-6074

German Christmas Bazaar: This year’s German Christmas Bazaar is from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 18 at Bldg. 747 Carter Road. The bazaar will feature crafts that are perfect for Christmas gifts, as well as German food specialties such as goulash, cakes, bratwurst, smoked fish, waffles and Christmas stollen. Beer, soft drinks, Glühwein and coffee will also be for sale. Proceeds go to the German Air Force charity organization Aid for the Needy. 201-5939

American Holiday Festival: An American Holiday Festival, featuring the 1st Armored Division Band, is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Plaza Theatre in El Paso. General admission. Free. No tickets required. www.facebook.com/1starmoreddivisionband or 568-2263

Parent workshop: William Beaumont Army Medical Center Child, Adolescent and Family Behavioral Health Services is presenting a series of parent workshops. “Healthy Coping Strategies for Parents during the Holidays,” is from 10 a.m.-noon Dec. 7 at the FRC. Contact Lashonda Bogan, outreach coordinator, at lashonda.d.bogan.civ@mail.mil or 742-5023 to RSVP or ask questions.

Christmas Tree Lighting: The Fort Bliss Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 at Center Chapel One, 315 Pershing Road. The event will include a special appearance by Santa Claus, a musical performance, a choir performance by Bliss Elementary School and free refreshments. 568-1519

Holiday mail: To ensure delivery by Dec. 25, mail should be postmarked no later than Nov. 10 if sent priority express, first class mail (letters and cards), priority mail or USPS retail ground to or from APO AE 094XX and Wednesday if sent first class mail (letters and cards), priority mail or USPS retail ground to or from APO AE 093XX (priority express not available). For Hanukkah, Dec. 12, send items no later than Sunday to ensure delivery.

MSG Pena ACP construction: Construction will impact entry through the Master Sgt. Pena Access Control Point through Dec. 15. Traffic will be reduced to one lane entering and one lane exiting the ACP between 9 a.m. and about 4:30 p.m. on construction days. Drivers should plan accordingly and use caution. 568-5953

Veterinary Treatment Facility: The Fort Bliss Veterinary Treatment Facility offers appointments Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Pet owners can schedule wellness exams, microchip implantation, heartworm tests, nail trims, recheck exams, inoculations against rabies, distemper (parvo) and Bordetella, sick calls and feline leukemia tests. The facility is located at Bldg. 6077 Carter Road, past Desert Strike Lanes. 742-2266

ICE comments: Use your voice and tell us how we are doing. Fort Bliss has an outlet available so you can let us know how we are doing. That outlet is the Interactive Customer Evaluation program and it is available online at http://ice.disa.mil/index.cfm?fa=site&site_id=435. This is a tool we use to help us improve the services provided to you. It can be used for negative and positive comments. You can remain anonymous or you can list your contact information. Listing your contact information allows us to provide you feedback on your questions. So be sure to use your voice and let us know how we are doing. Good or bad, we appreciate your input.

Stop smoking: If you are ready to quit smoking, call the Fort Bliss Tobacco Cessation Program at 742-1343 to enroll in classes. The classes are at the Soldier Family Care Center and Mendoza Clinics on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. Walk-ins are welcome. This class is free to DOD civilian employees of William Beaumont Army Medical Center, active-duty personnel and their spouses and retirees who are Tricare beneficiaries. There are four sessions to complete the program and each session is one hour and a half long.

Fire Marshal Training: Fire marshal training is from 9-10 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month at Bldg. 11240, Staff Sgt. Sims St. No appointment necessary. Open to all Fort Bliss employees, military or civilian. 744-8194 or 744-8195

Changing stations: When changing stations, see In/Out Processing for permanent change of station clearing papers 10 business days before your PCS leave starts. Clearing papers are issued Monday-Friday 8:30-11:30 a.m. at In/Out Processing, Bldg. 505, Room 133A. Be in duty uniform with ID card and bring a copy of the following: completed installation PAC slip (see your S1 or levy brief packet for a copy); PCS orders; DA 31 (signed with control number); DD 93 (digitally signed) PSDR units only; SGLV (digitally signed), PSDR units only; and DA 137-1 unit clearance record. PSDR units include 1st AD, all BCTs, 1st AD STB, 1st AD CAB, 11th Bde., 204th MI, 212th FA, 31st CSH, 86th Sig. and 93rd MP. 568-2482, 568-2728, 568-3145, 568-6120, 568-7714 or 569-7348, 7369

FMWR

Warrior Zone: The Warrior Zone, 21171 Medic Ave., is open. The brand-new, state-of-the-art entertainment facility is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday; and from 10 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. This is a place of leisure after a hard day’s work. Grab a bite to eat at the full-service snack bar. There’s lots to do with a fully stocked bar, six pool tables, two mini-bowling lanes, Alienware, Playstation/Xbox gaming center, outdoor basketball, sand volleyball and more. It’s open to the public 18 and older. 741-3000

Banking & Money Management: Did you know that all banking institutions are not equal? Discover how to find the right bank for you. Learn to protect your money. Discover unique military banking benefits. Class is at Army Community Service, Bldg. 2494 Ricker Road on West Fort Bliss from 1:30-3 p.m. Friday. Go to https://bliss.armymwr.com to sign up today. Free child-care voucher for attending class; call your preferred CDC for reservations.

Right Arm Night: Fort Bliss, are you ready for free appetizers and great drink specials? If so, stop by the Pershing Pub from 4-9 p.m. Nov. 17 during Right Arm Night. This is a great event to unwind after a long week. 781-6809

Intro to Pyrography: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 10 a.m.-noon Nov. 18 in the MakerSpace room for Intro to Pyrography (wood burning). Participants will learn new techniques using various wood burning tools. A small practice piece of wood and a designated craft item will be provided to each attendee. This month’s piece will be a welcome sign. Cost: $5 cash. Registration is required; payment reserves your spot. 568-6156

Brushstrokes: Join Mickelsen Community Library from 2-5 p.m. Nov. 18 for their social art class. This month’s theme for the club is “Birch Trees.” The class is open to DOD ID cardholders ages 10 and older. Registration is required. Space is limited to 10 participants. Cost: $15 and it includes all supplies as well as instruction. 568-6156

Paint N’ Pour: The Library After Hours presents: Paint N’ Pour a social painting class. Get together with friends and paint an acrylic masterpiece in a staff-led class from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 1 at Mickelsen Community Library. This month’s theme is “Owl Babies.” Cost: $20, including supplies, instruction and one glass of wine. Wear appropriate clothing for painting. Space is limited to 12 participants, so hurry and reserve your spot. Payment is due when you place reservations, cash only. It is open to DOD ID cardholders, 21 and older. 568-1902

Homemade for the Holidays: Join the Mickelsen Community Library from 1-3 p.m. Dec. for  Homemade for the Holidays. Create personalized gifts for friends and family this holiday season. The library will provide crafts and supplies to make cards, gift tags, ornaments and more. Supplies are first-come, first-served. Quantities are limited. This is a free event, recommended for ages 5 and older. 568-6156

Unit Book Kits: Are you part of a unit going into the field or deploying soon? If so, you can stop by the Mickelsen Community Library and pick up book kits for free. The kits contain a selection of popular fiction and nonfiction paperback items. 568-1902

Pershing Pub: The Pershing Pub is a great place to gather at the end of a long week. Open every Friday at 4 p.m. (except training holidays). Come enjoy weekly drink specials and free snacks. 568-6272

Auto Crafts Safety Orientation: The Auto Craft Center offers safety orientation classes every Wednesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. This is a mandatory safety orientation for use of the facility for automotive do-it-yourself projects. It is open to DOD ID cardholders only. 568-7280

Go Youth

Gingerbread Making Contest:  Show off your creative side for this year’s Gingerbread House contest for contestants 16 and younger. Enter one of three categories: most creative, most technical or most extreme. Top winner in each category gets a $100 Visa gift card. Registration is required; visit bliss.armymwr.com, search special events and fill out the form. Deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Dec. 6. All materials must be edible and cannot be professionally assembled. All entries must be turned in to the coordinator during the Holiday Festival event, Dec. 8 at Biggs Park, no later than 7:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded at 8 p.m. 588-8247

4-H retreat: The 2018 4-H Teen Leadership Retreat is slated from Jan. 5-7, 2018, at the Texas 4-H Conference Center near Brownwood. Early bird registration is from Nov. 1-Dec. 22. Register online through the center’s website, http://texas4hcenter.tamu.edu.

Replica Youth Center Rock Climbing: RYC students will learn to rock climb and conduct rope safety while working on a team and building self-confidence. It’s free and it will be held at the Soldier Activity Center every Thursday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Registration is required and can be done at the Replica Youth Center; space is limited to 10 students. 568-3523

Child Range Orientation: This is a one-hour firearm safety course required for children ages 6-17 to accompany parents or guardians on Rod and Gun Club live-fire ranges, and it will take place at 2 p.m. the second and fourth Saturday of each month. A parent or guardian must accompany all children. It is open to the public. Free. 568-5426

School Age Book Club: The School Age Book Club is designated for children ages 7-12. A staff member will read for part of the time and the children will read aloud as well from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday at Mickelsen Library. Activities and projects are completed at home, returned and shared at subsequent meetings. Occasional refreshments are provided as well. 568-6156

SKIESUnlimited: SkiesUnlimited offers a variety of fun and educational programs geared for children of all ages and talent levels. Music classes such as piano, voice, guitar and drums are available. SKIES also has a variety of art, sports, driver’s training and babysitting courses. All students must be enrolled with CYS Services Parent Central. Call 568-4374 to set up an appointment. Class registration opens from the 20th of the month prior to the seventh of the month in which you are enrolling. www.bliss.armymwr.com or 568-5544

Story Time: Stop by the Mickelsen Library every Tuesday from 10:15-11 a.m. or 11-11:45 a.m. as children ages 2-5 listen to stories read aloud. There will also be crafts, activities and refreshments available. Start children on the road to literacy. 568-6156

Paws for Reading: Do you have a school-age child who struggles with reading? Visit the Mickelsen Community Library from 4-5 p.m. every Wednesday of the month and join Paws for Reading. It is a free program for children ages 6-12, where they have an opportunity to read to a certified therapy dog to help improve their reading skills and build self-confidence. Parents must register for a time slot (15 minutes or more) on the children’s side of the library. Registration will occur the day of the program on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum of four slots. Parents must remain at the library during the program. 568-6156

Babysitting Course: The SKIESUnlimited Babysitting Course is designed to help middle school and teenage youth learn what it takes to be a responsible, caring, trustworthy and competent babysitter. Students will receive first aid and CPR training on a Saturday. They will learn about child development, nutrition and the business of babysitting. The course is open to children ages 12 and older. Cost: $10. Registration is required and can be done at SKIESUnlimited. Must be registered with Parent Central. 568-5544

Community

Art in the Park: The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department is holding Art in the Park Saturday and Sunday in the reserve area at Memorial Park, 3100 Copper Ave. Free. There will be outstanding vendors with a variety of arts and crafts items for sale along with entertainment throughout the day, with door prizes, excellent food and a children’s play area.

Space Museum: The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, N.M., is offering veterans and first responders free admission on Veterans Day, Saturday. The offer includes spouses and up to two dependent children. Veterans are asked to provide proof of service with a Form DD-214 or a veteran’s identification card. Active duty service members and National Guard members will need to show a military ID card. First responders will need to show either a badge or other appropriate ID. (575) 437-2840

Foster Parents: The CARE Coalition is recruiting foster parents to help children without a home in El Paso County. The coalition will conduct a massive informational event for the public from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the offices of the Department of Family & Protective Services (501 Hawkins Blvd.). For more information about the event, or to schedule an interview to promote foster parenting, call Bianca Avila at 521-3870.

ROWC: The Retired Officers’ Wives’ Club will hold their annual meeting and luncheon at noon Tuesday at the Centennial Conference and Banquet Center, East Fort Bliss. Members and guests may bring toys or monetary donations for Operation Santa Claus. Also, members may bring handcrafted items to display their arts and crafts talent. Wives and widows of officers from any branch of service are invited. Cost: $18 and reservations are required by noon Friday. 759-9728

Border Patrol: Hiring seminars for people considering working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection are from 8-11 a.m., 1-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Park University East Campus, 1330 Adabel Dr., El Paso. Space is limited, so call 834-8849 or 730-7500 to reserve a seat.

MOAA meeting: The El Paso Chapter Military Officers Association of America will meet from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2 at Monte Vista at Coronado Senior Living, 1575 Belvidere, El Paso, TX, for membership meeting and luncheon. Event will include a gift exchange and for those who wish to participate, bring a wrapped gift valued at $20 or less. Cost: $20 per person and reservations are required by Nov. 27 to El Paso Chapter MOAA, P.O. Box 6144, Fort Bliss, TX, 79906-0144. For late reservations call Bob Pitt at 533-5111 or Bill Moore at 842-9650 by noon Nov. 30 and pay at the door.

Living Christmas Tree: The Living Christmas Tree Program at First Baptist Church, 805 Montana Ave., El Paso, is at 7 p.m. Dec. 8, at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 and at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10. Cost: $5 each. 533-1465 or www.fbcep.com

2018 Army OCS Alumni Association Reunion: The U.S. Army Officer Candidate School Alumni Association 2018 Reunion is March 25-29, 2018, in Columbus, Ga. The association represents all Army officers commissioned through any OCS, regardless of previous locations or branch affiliation. The reunion will be conducted at the Columbus Marriott Hotel, 800 Front Ave., Columbus, Ga., 31901. 1-706-324-1800. Refer to the OCS web site at https://www.ocsalumni.org for information updates or contact Nancy Ionoff, (813) 917-4309.

Socorro Veterans: Veterans in Socorro, Texas, are raising money for a memorial to honor veterans who have served from World War I to the present. Nonprofit ID is #81-3106278. Send contributions to Socorro Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 290901, Socorro, TX, 79929. 588-0413

Microsoft training: El Paso Community College is offering free Microsoft training to veterans and military spouses. The 15-week course will lead to certifications in many areas. Daycare, transportation and job placement assistance is available to eligible participants. 831-7785